Graduates from the TRiO program

TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) serve students who identify as first-generation, income eligible, or students with a disability who present an academic need for additional support. You may be eligible for TRiO SSS services if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  2. You plan to attend Pierce College Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood, Washington
  3. You are planning to obtain a transferable associate's degree within four years
  4. You plan to transfer to a four-year college or university immediately after obtaining an associate's degree from Pierce College
  5. You have an academic need based on at least one of the following:
  • Enrolled or tested in Math 96/98, English 98/99, or Reading 99
  • Earned a GED
  • Have been out of school five or more years and this is your first quarter
  • Additional qualifiers for academic need may include low grade point average, undecided major, or limited English proficiency
  • You meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • Are a first-generation college student (neither of your parents has earned a bachelor's degree or higher)
    • Meet federal income requirements
    • Have a documented disability or receiving services with Access Disability Services department at Pierce College

    Apply for TRiO SSS

    To learn more about eligibility requirements, or if you have questions, please visit the TRiO SSS office located in the Welcome Center, Cascade 301, at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom or call us at 253-912-3644.

    TRiO SSS Services

    TRiO SSS provides the following services to help students succeed at Pierce and prepare for their future goals.

    Pro-Active Personal Coaching and Mentorship

    TRiO SSS staff provide students with one-on-one intentional and proactive coaching and mentoring, goal setting, career navigation, academic pathway guidance and access to additional tutoring assistance. TRiO SSS students, staff and college community mentors host quarterly events to recognize the academic achievements and empower all TRiO SSS students.

    Scholarship Support Services and Emergency Funding Assistance

    TRiO SSS assists students with scholarship searches, application completion, and letters of recommendation. TRiO SSS students also participate in the Phi Theta Kappa national honor society for access to more scholarship opportunities. Additionally, TRiO students who may be facing difficulties in continuing their education may qualify for additional assistance from the TRiO emergency funding grant. Students must be enrolled and actively participating in TRiO services and receiving a federal Pell grant to be eligible for TRiO emergency funds.

    Transfer Assistance

    TRiO staff are dedicated to supporting student’s goals to transfer to their choice college/university upon completion of their associate’s degree. Students receive support with college admission applications, letters of recommendations, and college campus visits throughout Washington State. Universities TRiO students visit while at Pierce are Central Washington (Ellensburg), Pacific Lutheran University, The Evergreen State College, and University of Washington Seattle and Tacoma.


    Students receive leadership empowerment from TRiO SSS staff, college TRiO support mentors and guest speakers. Students are not only leaders in their own right and greatness, but also have many opportunities to demonstrate their leadership skills campus wide in student government, student activities boards, student-led organizations/clubs, the Multicultural Leadership Institute (MLI), Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA), Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) and through our own TRiO Leadership Council (TLC).